Researchers Develop Hydrogen Trap for Fuel Cells

October 14, 2002 by Jeff Shepard

Researchers from the Carnegie Institution of Washington's Geophysical Laboratory, University of Chicago, and Los Alamos National Laboratory (Los Alamos, NM) have developed a way to trap the hydrogen gas inside water-ice structures forming hydrogen hydrate. The scientists reveal that they may be on the way to a new hydrogen storage method for fuel cells.

The researchers subjected a mixture of hydrogen and water to a pressure equivalent to about 2,000 times the atmospheric pressure at sea level at room temperature, causing two regions to form - a hydrogen bubble and liquid water. When the mixture was cooled to -11 degrees F, the two regions reacted and formed one solid compound. However, where only one molecule of a gas can be trapped in each of the H2O cages, multiple hydrogen molecules were entrapped in this material - two molecules in small cages and four in larger ones. The synthesized material showed remarkable stability, even when warmed to about 45 degrees F.